401 & Isolated Streams & 401 Stormwater Program

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Applying for a Certification/ Permit: Fees & Procedures

Fee Schedule

Applications received as of October 3, 2023 are subject to the following fee schedule:

Scale of impacts to wetlands1, waters1, and streams2
Fee Schedule
Major3 water quality applications: Greater than or equal to one acre of wetlands/ waters AND/OR greater than or equal to 150 feet of streams (intermittent or perennial) $767.00
Minor3 water quality applications: Less than one acre of wetlands/waters AND less than 150 feet of streams (intermittent or perennial) $323.00

N.C. Division of Water Resources accepts online payments at

 Wetlands ePayments-Online Payments

Checks should be made payable to "N.C. Division of Water Resources"

1 Includes all 404 Wetlands and Isolated Wetlands, subject to a permitting program administered by the State of North Carolina

2 Includes all streams claimed by the State of North Carolina, including Isolated or Non-Jurisdictional Streams. US Army Corps of Engineers stream categories such as important/unimportant, or Relatively Permanent Waters are not relevant to this issue

3 The legislation refers to "major" and "minor" applications. These artificial categories refer to combined total impacts for a project, and have no relationship whatsoever to the actual types of 401 Certifications (Individual and General). Fees are based strictly on the scope of impact, not on the type of authorization requested. If you apply for multiple Nationwide Permits and 401 Certifications on a single project, the impacts are added to determine the total application fee


  • Upon submission of the online form for an Individual Certification, an invoice with be sent via email with instructions as to how to make the payment. A check should be submitted with any paper application that is mailed to us.
  • Changes to an existing 401 Water Quality Certification require a  fee is required with each issuance of a modification.
  • If a project requires a CAMA permit, a separate payment for the 401 Certification is not required.  The Division of Coastal Management administers the fee for both the CAMA Permit and 401 Certification/Isolated Wetlands Permit.
  • No refunds will be issued for denied, modified or withdrawn certification requests. If DWR or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers retires/returns/denies a project due to insufficient or inaccurate information, no refunds will be issued.
  • If a project is determined to be covered by a 401 General Certification and no application is required then there is no fee. If an applicant still chooses to submit an application in order to have written approval to file with their project records, then the fee payment is required.
  • Receipts for fees will only be sent upon written request.
  • Electronic applications should be submitted electronically via the DEMLR and DWR-Online Submissions Forms.
  • If unable to submit through an online submission form, please mail to the appropriate physical address in the table below:
Non-Transportation Projects Transportation Projects

NC DWR, 401 & Buffer Permitting Branch
1617 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699

*If sending first class mail via the US Postal Service

 NC DWR, Transportation Permitting Branch 
  1617 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699

*If sending first class mail via the US Postal Service

NC DWR, 401 & Buffer Permitting Branch 
 512 North Salisbury Street, Raleigh, NC 27604

*Physical Address (if sending by delivery service, UPS, FedEx, etc.):

   NC DWR, Transportation Permitting Branch 
    512 North Salisbury Street, Raleigh, NC 27604

*Physical Address (if sending by delivery service, UPS, FedEx, etc.):

Express Review

The Express Permitting Program offers a more timely review of certain environmental permits than the traditional permit review process within the NC Department of Environmental Quality. This program offers quicker permit decisions and certification as well as consultation to identify necessary environmental requirements. Higher fees are charged to support additional staff for the express review. This program also encourages greater involvement of property owners, developers and engineers to ensure good communication and high quality applications. Participation in the program is voluntary.

Express permitting began as a pilot program in January 2004 (Session Law 2003-284, Section 11.4A) and expanded by July 2004 (Session Law 2004-124, Section l2.9).

Within the 401 Wetlands Program, Express Review offers expedited stream determinations, Riparian Buffer Authorization, 401 Water Quality Certifications, Isolated and Other Non-404 Jurisdictional Wetlands and Waters Permit, and Stormwater Management Plan approvals.

The Central Office is no longer accepting Express Permitting applications, however the Washington and Wilmington Regional Offices are still accepting Express Permitting applications.